Swiss lawmakers should review draft legislation on police counterterrorism measures to ensure respect for human rights

"In a letter addressed to the Chair and members of the National Council Committee on Security Policy, made public today, the Commissioner invites parliamentarians to review the draft Federal Law on Police Counterterrorism Measures in order to ensure that all human rights standards are respected.


In particular, the Commissioner mentions questions raised by the lack of sufficient legal safeguards as to the scope of the administrative measures which may be imposed by the Federal Police Office, outside the context of criminal proceedings, against a person whom it considers to be a "potential terrorist" based on a presumption that they might commit certain acts in the future."

"The lack of a clear and precise definition opens the way to a broad interpretation that runs the risk of excessive and arbitrary interference with human rights," she writes, adding that the very term "potential terrorist" is liable to create stigma.

The Commissioner also underlines the seriousness of the administrative measures envisaged, in particular the possibility under certain conditions of placing a person under house arrest. "It seems to be very difficult to reconcile such a vague and serious measure, potentially lasting up to nine months, with the requirement for full compliance with human rights obligations, whereby any interference with fundamental freedoms must be proportionate and necessary," she points out."   

Swiss lawmakers should review draft legislation on police counterterrorism measures to ensure respect for human rights (Council of Europe, link)

 

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